Resident Life

Empathy in Ophthalmology Curriculum

The Empathy in Ophthalmology Curriculum is our concept of what wellness means in the current context of medicine and ophthalmology. Listed below are the primary components of the program.

Patient Perspectives and the Arts

We have cultivated a partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where our residents participate in drawing sessions and learn different perspectives about sight through the unique lens of talented, visually limited artists.

Narrative Medicine

In partnership with the Columbia University Narrative Medicine Department, we have developed a bimonthly curriculum for trainees interested in expressing their thoughts and experiences in narrative form.


Regular social events are planned throughout the year for our trainees to get together outside of work.


We have developed a robust leadership curriculum, recruiting the expertise of NewYork-Presbyterian Leadership, professors from Columbia Business School, and external national experts. Topics in recent years have included negotiation, career development, and public speaking.

Wellness at Harkness

A Nespresso machine, microwave, and refrigerator are kept stocked in the resident work room, where residents have a steady supply of snacks to keep nourished during busy days.

Annual Residency Retreat

Truly a highlight every winter, the entire residency and leadership travel to a location in upstate New York to get away, turn off pagers, learn from each other, and reassess the strengths and weaknesses of the program. A guest speaker is invited to give workshops on leadership and career development, and residents and faculty trade ideas and thoughts in the annual book club discussion.